New Yorkers Urge Mayor to Push for Offshore Wind

More than 100 people have expressed their gratitude to the New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio for his plan to power 100% of City government operations with renewable energy, and urged him to include offshore wind as a cornerstone of that plan.

New Yorkers gathered on 18 February in front of the City Hall, calling for the Mayor to make the City an early leader in offshore wind power. “New York City should commit to get 5,000 megawatts of it [offshore wind] by 2025,” writes Katherine Kennedy, director of the Energy and Transportation Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

“Because offshore wind power produces the most electricity when it’s needed most–on hot summer afternoons and bitter cold winter days and nights like the ones we endured last weekend–it can help reduce the need to bring the most expensive and polluting “peaker” power plants online. Many of them are located in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, where they expose some of the most vulnerable residents of our city–low-income kids, seniors and families–to high levels of dangerous air pollution,” Kennedy said.

In July 2015, Mayor de Blasio announced a Request for Information to identify new renewable energy generation capacity, with a goal of getting 100% of the city’s operating energy (the electricity New York uses to run its schools, hospitals, fire houses and libraries) from renewable sources.

Even though the state and federal governments play the key roles in the development of offshore wind power in New York, the City can majorly contribute by committing to the technology in its procurement plans, according to Katherine Kennedy.

In January, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed the state’s plan to start a USD 5 million project to set up the New York Offshore Wind Master Plan. The state has also approved a 10-year USD 5 billion Clean Energy Fund to advance wind, solar, energy efficiency and other clean tech industries.

In November 2015, Cuomo vetoed the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Deepwater Port project, saying that it could negatively impact offshore wind development.

Photo: Photo: ©Rob Friedman

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